Nick Cave: Invasion of Ukraine isn’t the same as Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The iconic musician was responding to a fan’s query expressing disappointment that he had expressed solidarity with Ukrainians but not with Palestinians.

Cast member Nick Cave talks during a news conference promoting the movie "20,000 Days on Earth" at the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 10, 2014 (photo credit: REUTERS/THOMAS PETER)
Cast member Nick Cave talks during a news conference promoting the movie "20,000 Days on Earth" at the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 10, 2014
(photo credit: REUTERS/THOMAS PETER)

Iconic Australian singer/songwriter Nick Cave recently wrote to a fan that the current Russian invasion of Ukraine can’t be compared to the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Cave, who has always resisted calls to boycott Israel on his previous trips here and who will be returning on August 23 for a show at Live Park Rishon Lezion, was responding to a Turkish fan’s query expressing disappointment that Cave had “expressed clear and undivided solidarity with the Ukrainians”, but hadn’t “expressed such a support for the Palestinian people.”

According to the Israelycool advocacy website, Cave responded to the fan by writing, “There is little I can disagree with in your letter, other than to say that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is simply not the same thing as the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine; one is a brutal unprovoked attack on one state by another, in the hope of revising the entire security structure of Europe, and the other is a deeply complex clash of two nations that is far from straightforward. What the two conflicts do share is the tragic fate of all innocents who must cower in bomb shelters in fear of their lives, and I sympathize deeply with all such communities wherever — and whoever — they are.”

Cave added that he supports the Palestinian people and has “taken part in several events to raise money for schools within their communities.”

Cave last performed in Israel in 2017, before a sold-out audience at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena. The next year, in response to calls to join a boycott of Israel, Cave said,  “Ultimately, whatever the rights and wrongs of official Israeli action in the disputed territories, Israel is a real, vibrant, functioning democracy – yes, with Arab members of parliament – and so engaging with Israelis, who vote, may be more helpful than scaring off artists or shutting down means of engagement.”

 Ukrainian fleeing war zones in  Ukraine are seen at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Palanca Moldova, on  March 3, 2022. (credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90) Ukrainian fleeing war zones in Ukraine are seen at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Palanca Moldova, on March 3, 2022. (credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)